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Neville Mutsvangwa still languishing in custody, bail hearing tomorrow

The bail application by Neville Mutsvangwa (44), Elias Majachani (45), and Simbarashe Tichingana (38) will be ruled on by the High Court in Harare on 31 May.

Justice Rogers Manyangadze, the new judge assigned to the case, reheard the matter on Wednesday.

The accused were arrested on 08 May 2024 and are facing three criminal charges of illegal foreign currency dealings.

Mutsvangwa is also charged with contravening the Postal and Telecommunications Act for allegedly possessing an unlicensed Starlink router.

Harare magistrate Dennis Mangosi denied bail to Mutsvangwa and his co-accused, leading them to appeal the ruling at the High Court.

Justice Esther Muremba, the previous judge on the case, recused herself from the case on Monday for “personal reasons.”

However, according to ZimLive, Muremba recused herself from the case after she was summoned to State House to explain delays in the case.

Neville is the son of ZANU PF spokesperson Christopher Mutsvangwa and his wife Monica, who is the Women’s Affairs, Community, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Minister.

Justice Muremba last week postponed the ruling on Mutsvangwa’s bail application to Monday, 27 May, because she had not received a full record of proceedings from the Magistrates Court.

Instead of delivering the ruling this Monday, Muremba said she was standing down from the matter “for personal reasons”.

Also Read: Judge quits Neville Mutsvangwa’s case State House summons

Muremba reportedly informed the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) that she felt “intimidated” after being summoned to the State House on Wednesday last week.

Muremba was hauled before President Emmerson Mnangagwa, Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ziyambi Ziyambi, and Neville’s mother, Monica.

The publication reported JSC sources as saying Mutsvangwa used the meeting to complain bitterly that the judge was mishandling the case.

Mnangagwa reportedly asked the judge to explain the status of the case. The judge allegedly said she had never been summoned to such a forum and she was uneasy. Said the source:

She still explained that the delay in delivering her ruling on the bail application was a result of receiving the record from the magistrates court late.

Mnangagwa listened to her explanation and concluded that her actions were above board.

He also said as a lawyer he respected the independence of the judiciary and the judge was excused.

The revelation that a judge was summoned by the president to discuss an ongoing case raises concerns in legal circles, as it seems to validate the notion that the judiciary is not independent of interference by ZANU PF elites.

Meanwhile, Mutsvangwa’s lawyer, Josephine Sande, argued that the prosecution has no case against Mutsvangwa and his co-suspects Majachani and Tichingana.

She said the Magistrates Court misdirected itself in denying bail to Mutsvangwa and his co-accused, arguing that the prosecution hinged its evidence on Visa cards which were seized from Mutsvangwa’s Mount Pleasant home.

Sande submitted that possession of Visa cards is not a crime, and neither is it evidence that someone is involved in illegal dealing with cash or money laundering.

In denying the three accused persons bail, Harare magistrate Dennis Mangosi said the accused persons could be tempted to abscond.

He also ruled that police found overwhelming evidence that Mumba Money Transfer, a company owned by Mutsvangwa, was an unregistered entity dealing in foreign currency.

The magistrate also considered that the Police had difficulties in arresting Mutsvangwa. He first denied police entry to his Mt Pleasant house and then hid outside his house when police cut his electric fence and climbed over his gate.

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